Grocers Ask For Cash And Checks, Not Cards - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Grocers Ask For Cash And Checks, Not Cards

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Fear of hacking is leading grocers all over the Northwest, including the Flathead Valley, to ask customers to pay in cash or check.

It could not have come at a worse time.

"It's a shame it has to happen this time of year, you know, this is a big spending time," said Susan Haveman, a Harvest Foods customer.

Harvest Foods in Bigfork is just one of several grocers in the Flathead Valley, including Rosauers and Super 1 in Kalispell, warning customers against using credit cards.

"It's going to be a busy day, but we are still worried about people's cards. You know, we don't want people's cards to get hacked into," said Marcus Balgos, the general manager of Harvest Foods.

On Monday, Balgos got a call from URM, a Spokane wholesaler that processes credit transactions, saying their network may have been victim to hacking over the past two months, potentially leaking personal financial data. URM stores that could be affected include Rosauers, Super 1 Foods, Harvest Foods, and Family Foods.

"We are still taking cards because there are some back up systems in place," said Balgos.

Right now, shoppers are encouraged to withdraw cash at the in-store ATM and they will be discounted the three dollar fee. Other stores are offering a five percent discount on a bill in exchange for cash or check payment. Balgos says Harvest Foods can still accept food stamps and EBT.

"They said a couple of days, maybe a week, so we'll see. We just get new information every day," said Balgos.

For some getting ready for a Thanksgiving feast, this was not a huge snag.

"Planning ahead makes it easier. If I'd come in without cash, I probably would've used my card, but I'd have been worried," said Haveman.

ABC FOX Montana's calls to URM for comment were not returned by news time.

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